Home Blog  
Air Guns The HW 97K underlever spring-piston rifle: Part Two

The HW 97K underlever spring-piston rifle: Part Two

Weihrauch HW 97K rifle.

Part 1

This report covers:

  • Break-in
  • RWS Hobby
  • Cocking
  • Loading
  • RWS Superdome
  • Cocking effort
  • Benjamin Bullseye
  • Trigger pull
  • Firing behavior
  • Summary

Today I shoot the .177-caliber HW 97K underlever rifle for velocity and I will also test a couple other things. As I said in Part One, I’m partial to the TX 200 Mark III underlever and that will come out in today’s report. But I will admit my prejudices because a great many shooters like this 97K. Let’s start with velocities but before we do I need to explain something.


Spring-piston guns like the HW 97K usually need a break-in period of 500 to 1000 shots. What my velocity test done at this point shows is where an out-of-the-box gun will be; it doesn’t show where the same gun might be after settling down. I might throw in a test like that later on, if I shoot enough in-between to break the rifle in.

Most springers speed up following 500 to 1000 shots. In the past I’ve seen a .177-caliber TX200 go from 975 to 1030 f.p.s. with a cocking effort drop of one pound. Most new spring guns follow suit, though that one was a very large increase in velocity — probably the largest I have ever seen.

There are exceptions to speeding up, though. A Beeman Crow Magnum (Theoben Eliminator)  actually decreased in velocity after breaking in, as I recall. Let’s now test the 97K.

RWS Hobby

The first pellet I tested was the 7-grain RWS Hobby wadcutter. Ten of them averaged 936 f.p.s. That’s an average muzzle energy of 13.62 foot pounds. The low was 927 and the high was 947 f.p.s., for a spread of 20 f.p.s. After break-in that should tighten up a bit.


I will say the rifle cocks absolutely smooth. Not the hint of a sound. There is a little whistling when the sliding compression chamber is closed, but it’s minor. I do dislike the pushbutton that releases the underlever, though, which is why I have stayed away from the 97K. I find it clumsy, where the TX underlever releases quick and easy — for me. But this is one of my prejudices and I want to call your attention to it.

In the olden days (1990s) I had an HW 77K whose underlever released by pulling back on a spring-loaded end of the underlever. I found that simple and easy to use and when I first encountered the push-button release of the 97 it turned me off. But a heck of a lot of airgunners find the pushbutton easier to use than the TX underlever release, which is a pinch-and-pull operation.


I will say that I do find loading the 97K much easier than loading a TX 200. There is more room for your fingers. Also there is no lock to hold the sliding compression chamber, so just return the underlever to the closed position and you’re done. In that respect the 97K is easier to operate than the TX 200 Mark III.

The first TX 200 (we now call it a Mark One but there was no such designation when it was new) had no lock to hold the sliding compression chamber, so we all learned to hold the underlever for that one as we loaded — just as you should for this 97K. So the 97K is simpler, but the TX 200 is safer.

Hunting Guide

RWS Superdome

For a medium-weight pellet I tested the 8.3-grain RWS Superdome. Ten of them averaged 876 f.p.s. for a muzzle energy of 14.15 foot-pounds. The low was 861 f.p.s. and the high was 884 — a difference of 23 f.p.s. Once again, that should tighten up as the rifle breaks in.

Cocking effort

I was surprised that the 97K’s cocking effort is so high. The test rifle measures 40 pounds and the effort increases regularly as the rifle is cocked. What I’m saying is there is no mechanical advantage as the cocking lever is pulled back. And now that I think of it, I believe that holds true for the TX, as well. I do think a factory TX cocks easier than the 97K by a few pounds, but not by that much — maybe 35-37 pounds. 

Benjamin Bullseye

The last pellet I tested was the 10.5-grain Benjamin Single Die dome that I call the Bullseye. Ten of them averaged 695 f.p.s. for an average energy of 11.26 foot-pounds. The low was 683 and the high was 707 f.p.s., for a spread of 24 f.p.s.

Some shooters might rate this pellet low for the velocity. I would wait to see the accuracy, before making that call.

Trigger pull

This rifle is a Weihrauch so the trigger is a Rekord, of course. I can’t tell that much about it during velocity testing, but at least I can measure where it is out of the box.

The trigger is two-stage, with stage one taking 14 ounces of effort and stopping positively at stage two. I can’t detect any creep, but if there is some it will turn up during the first accuracy test. For now the trigger feels positive and crisp.

Stage two breaks at 3 pounds 3 ounces. That does seem on the heavy side, but since this is a Rekord, something can be done about it. If I need to I will adjust it in Part 3.

Firing behavior

The rifle fires with just a hint of buzzing. As best as I can recall, it is similar to an out-of-the-box TX 200. But it’s been a long time since I shot a factory new TX so don’t take my word for it.


We’ve tested the HW 97K and find it to be a 12-14 foot-pound air rifle. That’s about where a factory .177 TX 200 will be. Both rifles are smooth, heavy and probably accurate. The TX is, we know for sure. I have no doubt this 97K will be, as well.

This is a .177 caliber rifle and I plan to test it with the latest crop of premium .177 pellets, so accuracy testing may take longer than some series we have seen in the past. Also, I saw a surprising thing that I will talk about in a future report.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

40 thoughts on “The HW 97K underlever spring-piston rifle: Part Two”

  1. BB,
    I never measured the cocking effort of my HW97, so all I can say about it is that I found it very easy to cock, and I am no powerlifter! 🙂 As for the pushbutton release, I never had an HW77 or a TX200, hence, the pushbutton seemed very natural to me; once released, the lever cocked smoothly; and, as advised by Brad Troyer, I NEVER let go of the lever till the pellet was loaded and the lever returned to the resting condition.
    I am truly enjoying your series of reports on this rifle, even though they make me a bit sad for the loss (due to my own stupidity!) of an old friend; yes, I could just buy another one, but it will never be THAT one, the first HW97 I ever owned, the one tuned and tweaked by Brad (sorry Brad…I never should have sold her!).
    Anyway, it’s great to see you back, and I look forward to the next report on this neat rifle. 🙂
    Blessings to you,

    • LOL! Over the years I have had them all. I myself started out with an underlever and will admit I do not particularly care for a break barrel for several reasons, one being my personal prejudices. Having said that, I have two here at RRHFWA as of this moment.

      You have also expressed a strong dislike of “The Dark Side”. I sorta kinda understand that.

      I would like to point out that changing your nom de plume or your personal preferences of partners will not likely have any effect on how others on this blog perceive you with the exception of some minor confusion concerning your character.

      You only like break barrel sproingers. We get it.

      • RR: I hear your fidelity to the underlever cocking of a springer. I own one of the Diana 430L underlevers that AofA imported and I really do like it save for the pellet insertion. It is dead-on accurate and takes to lowest level Hawke scope to function very, very well. However….

        I own a bunch of break-barrels. Grew up that way since ’89 with my RWS M-36. Still, in many ways, the best of my shooters in the gun cabinet. At least, to be fair, the MOST familiar. One thing I have oft considered is that the breakers would be assured of firm lock up by a mechanical lock down in addition to the plunger cam that seats it past an obstruction. The problem would be an unobnoxious adjusting link to be able to compensate for wear of the secondary locking link. All of that would add considerable expense to the piece and complicate the manufacture.

        The one thing that the breakers do is offer a pretty much unobstructed access to the breach as it pops up above the top plane of the barrel and spring cylinder tubes. Holding the barrel to steady the rifle means control against a snap shut on one’s fingers.

        I suspect it amounts to what one “grew up with!” I’m an old hand at the break barrels, to me, they are easy to load and control after hundreds of thousands of shots. The Diana 430L, on the other hand, with the loading port, reminds me that I’m not quite Superman when it comes to loading….

  2. BB,
    before I mention this, I know I am asking a lot. And Pyramyd is unlikely to sell either one to me. But I think that a comparison of a fully tuned HW97K versus your fully tuned TX200 would be interesting.
    Probably outside the scope of what you are doing here though.


      • BB,
        exactly. I think it would be interesting to see which was the most accurate, the smoothest, the (fill in criteria of choice here). But even then, I am not in the market for either one, so outside of an interesting contest, there really isn’t a reason to do it.


    • CB

      Readers who comment likely would love your comparison. I know I would. Since it isn’t going to happen I will predict the outcome with confidence. There will be two wonderful air rifles of equal power and smoothness. Choosing the winner would boil down to aesthetics, the release button and lock.

      BB, the editing feature is now instant and trouble free using my IPad. Blessings to you!


  3. POOKY! I love WordPress, I love WordPress, I love WordPress…

    I had typed out a beautiful, rousing spiel about so many things I have seen here over the years, but it turns out I was not logged in, so I lost it. Ah well.

    Cocking effort – last sentence – delete word.
    I do think a factory TX cocks easier than the 97K by a few pounds, but not [not] by that much — maybe 35-37 pounds.

    • RidgeRunner,

      I don’t see how you could have made a reply if you weren’t logged in. Every time I go to the site and I’m not logged in there is no way I can make a comment or reply until after I log in first.


      • Siraniko,

        Over here we can be logged in for one moment and then kicked out unknowingly by WordPress. I think they have a certain number of times they will allow a reply and then kick you out, but not let you know they have done so ahead of time.

        Quite often you find out after you have spent a considerable time typing a reply with a considerable amount of thought invested. When you hit post, you are notified you must be logged in to reply.

      • Siraniko,

        I can see how it happened to RidgeRunner; even though it should NOT have happened.
        I have logged in and written up a reply and pressed the red Post Comment square only to get this cryptic message: {you must be logged in to post a comment.} Thus far i have found no way to recover from this SYSTEM FAULT. Most of the time if i have a longer post i now copy them to my Clipboard.
        It doesn’t happen everytime just often enough to be ANNOYING.


  4. I guess today is my day to whine about how things have become.

    Besides WordPress, I am not enamored with this AI stuff. What makes these morons who have fired this junk up think that this automatic gobblity gook knows more than we do?

    • RidgeRunner,

      Because it may prove more competent than they are.
      Although i think the real danger is that we humans as a group become dependent on AI and by doing that lose any competencies we might have had.
      Or maybe you not enamored because The Chinese are devoting a huge amount of effort buying and more likely stealing the AI knowledge of the USA and other countries….
      Fortunately shootski knows the SECRET of how to terminate AI.

      Keep your powder dry!


            • Roamin Greco,

              The Day the Earth Stood Still
              I did see Army of Darkness but it didn’t have the impact that the original had. I had already memorized the most important SECRET as a youngster!
              Beyond that since i was there at the beginning of the ARPA/Navy Internet i do know a few of the major weaknesses of systems of systems. A soft kill or a hard kill would be within a small COMPETENT band of humans capability.


      • shootski,

        I have seen what they are teaching, or not, our youth in these times. RG says I am shameless. I “collect” old airguns. What is their excuse?

        • RidgeRunner,

          I think they are being taught how to progressively CONFORM and not conserve the Good.
          You being shameless are able to see the folly of that even in your choices for the airguns that get to stay at RRHFWA.
          My shipment of 2,000, R10 Match 7gr. pistol pellets and 8,000, .22 caliber, 5.51mm, 16gr. Air Arms Diabolo Field pellets arrived yesterday. The R10s work great (Thank You RR! I had been using the R10 heavies and they just were not as accurate.) in my AV-46M, SIG Super Target and most of my other .177 pistols. The 5.51mm AAs work extremely well in my .22 caliber 1st Generation Marauder as well as the SIG ASP20.


          • That little tidbit about the Izzy preferring the R10 pistol ammunition came to me directly from our master of ceremony at the Roanoke airgun show when I bought my Izzy. I asked him what to feed it.

  5. Yogi,

    Okay, IT has tested the site and cannot replicate your problem or not being able to edit the comments. Are you having it on your phone, your personal computer or a work computer? One and not the others or all of them? They need more information to pin down what’s happening.


  6. Attention all blog readers!

    I desire to have a walnut stocked TX200 Hunter Carbine AND one of the new walnut stocked HW97K come live here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.

    Being of Scottish descent, I myself am not likely to put forth the required expenditure to have such, therefore I fully intend to rely on the generosity of the blog readers.

    Fear not that I should be offended if such is not forthcoming, as I have learned over the years that I cannot rely on the fortune of others to benefit myself.

    However, if for some reason you should feel so inclined as to provide me with these donations, I will gladly accept such and publicly acknowledge your gifting to this fine establishment.

    I think I had better go outside and shoot some.

    • Shameless…but then….

      I have a Walnut-Stocked TX200 Mark III that was described as having a missing bolt, which I bought for a song. The bolt was there all along but the antibeartrap mechanism and the safety were somehow keeping the bolt from sliding forward properly. With B.B.’s advice, I was able to disassemble it (without a spring compressor), and I fixed the issue. It is sublime. I don’t feel the need to play with an HW97. Although, if an HW97 tuned by Hector Medina somehow found its way to Roamin Greco’s Institute for Airgun Appreciation, she would certainly be welcomed and given a steady diet of premium pellets and rubdowns with Ballistol.

      • RG,

        Of course it is shameless! Once RGIFAA has been around as long as RRHFWA, you too will doubtly become more shameless.

        There is a downside to this shamelessness. Some out there do not pay much attention to what I have to say. As illustrated above, I can tend to “ramble on” at times.

        I do have my moments though. Every once in a great while I will spew out some bit of wisdom, if for no other reason than to keep folks reading what gibberish I do put out.

  7. Again, there is Tomek with the tools prepared to tune one like this. They all have some buzz out of the box and it is usually not going to be better. There should be no buzz noise on this level of “promised” quality.
    Once those are tuned fine they are quite different and makes you happy.
    The fact is, even Feinwerkbau need some time to breaks in. It is normal – that’s why I like to see them after this time again.

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.